The coronavirus continues to spread in Iowa. Another 11 people with COVID-19 have died, and there have been nearly an additional 705 confirmed cases, the state reported Friday, according to the state's Coronavirus.Iowa.gov website. There have been 865 deaths because of the coronavirus in Iowa. Polk and Woodbury Counties continue to have the highest number of cases of the virus.
Woodbury County has tallied 3612 cases and 47 deaths, and no new deaths or cases yet today.
Nebraska had accounted for 25,766 cases: cases and 328 deaths. Dakota County had 1,868 cases and 42 deaths.
South Dakota had tallied 8,685 cases: and 129 deaths. Union County has recorded three deaths and Yankton County two.
Public health directors from ten Iowa counties have issued a letter to Gov. Kim Reynolds, urging her to mandate the use of cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The letter was sent to the governor on Wednesday. It quotes CDC director Robert Redfield who has called cloth face coverings quote one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus.
It also cites scientific research that mask policies can reduce the transmission of the virus.
Earlier this week, a coalition of the state's healthcare organizations representing more than 12,000 healthcare workers also issued a letter to Gov. Reynolds, urging the statewide mandate.
The participating counties are almost all located in the eastern part of the state. They include Johnson County, which passed a resolution last week mandating face coverings in public.
This was despite guidance issued by the governor and state attorney general's offices that local governments do not have the authority to issue their own mandates.
A bill that would let Nebraska teachers physically restrain students who are hurting themselves or others died in the Legislature after opponents mounted a filibuster to keep it from coming to a vote.
Supporters fell one vote short of the 33; they needed Thursday to end legislative debate and advance the bill through a first-round vote.
The state teacher's union has pushed for the bill, arguing that many teachers feel powerless in their own classrooms, and some have suffered severe injuries at the hands of unruly students.
Police and probation officers in 23 counties across South Dakota will soon be equipped with tablet computers to connect people in mental distress to mental health professionals. Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson spearheaded the South Dakota pilot program. He says it could "revolutionize" a criminal justice system that sees a constant flow of people with mental health problems.